Bruce Lee – The Fighter (2015)

Critics like me keep on blabbering about “change” in film industry. Some people change and some do not. But there are some who change a little due to which no one can say whether they are good or bad. “Srinu Vaitla” did the same with his “Bruce Lee – The Fighter”. Starring Ram Charan and Rakul Preet Singh as lead pair, it was produced by “D.V.V. Danayya” under his “D.V.V. Entertainments” production house. “Megastar Chiranjeevi” appeared in a cameo after a long gap of six years.

Plot :

Sacrificing everything for his sister Kavya (Kriti Karbandha) since childhood, Karhik a.k.a Bruce Lee (Ram Charan) leads his life as a stuntman in films. One day Karthik comes to know that Kavya has got into a trouble. What’s that trouble? How does Karthik solve it? What changes are brought into his life and family? form the rest of the story.

Narration :

Srinu Vaitla cooks a story resembling a festival buffet which tries to satisfy all set of audiences. He has the support of his writers “Kona Venkat” and “Gopi Mohan” anyhow. So, he came up with same kind of story this time too yet he tried to come out of his “mark”.

The first half of this film which concentrated more on family emotions rather than regular entertainment was really good as emotions worked out well. Though he did 8 films before, Charan never tried to “act” in any one of those. Srinu was successful in extracting a little performance from Charan. The comedy timing of Charan was good in the scenes where he encounters his father Rama Chandra Rao (Rao Ramesh). I also liked his timing in the scene where he swears on hero Brahmaji (Brahmaji) speaking to a television channel. Meanwhile, Jaya Prakash Reddy who has a dual character entertained well.

The added attractions of first half were songs visualizations. “Riya” song can be exclaimed as the best number of the film due to the energetic dance movements of Charan, scenic locations and rich visuals by cinematographer “Manoj Paramahamsa”. “Kung Fu Kumari” also had a good choreography. As the lead character Karthik is a stuntman as well as a diehard fan of “Bruce Lee”, fight master “Anal Arasu” composed the fights which show a stuntman’s capability.

All these things lose life when narration comes to second half due to Srinu’s regular “Mind Game” concept. So why “Suzuki Subramanyam” alias “Peter” alias “Pakodi” alias “Brahmanandam” got introduced. There was no notable entertainment from this character. Many criticized this but I do not because previous films of Srinu make the audience forget the main plot due to Brahmanandam’s entertainment. It also imposed a bad name on Srinu that without Brahmanandam he is nothing. Maybe to come out of this, he didn’t provide much entertainment through this character and used Charan’s instead. Though this is an appreciable move I cannot praise the “Mind Game”. An audience comes to know the intensity of the main conflict if it defeats the lead at least once but Srinu’s “Mind Game” always lets the lead overshadow the conflict and doesn’t let the audience know its intensity. Till Baadshah Brahmanandam’s character covered this and entertained the audience. Had he considered this point in Bruce Lee, it’d have been much better.

“Lechalo” song visualization and Rakul’s sizzling appearance was a good relief. I couldn’t figure out why antagonist Jayaraj (Sampath Raj) helped Karthik by solving Karthik-Ram Chandra Rao’s conflict instead of doing harm to him. This states that even antagonists are good in Telugu cinema.

All these thoughts running in the mind were suddenly shattered by a thunderbolt “Megastar Chiranjeevi”. His dazzling screen presence, his diction, fight and horse riding conveyed that Chiru had never lost his filmy charm and made me forget his six years break as well as weak screenplay. I’m eagerly waiting to watch him in a full-fledged role in his upcoming film. There are three more persons need to be given credit for this. One is Srinu Vaitla for placing this episode in a right time where narration goes dull, Manoj Paramahamsa for projecting Megastar richly and Thaman for elevating his entry with a powerful background score.

So, if said in terms of “Reels”, Bruce Lee impressed with the first half’s reels and the last reels. But Srinu Vaitla should seriously stop cooking these kinds of stories. He has to come up with a sensitive subject like “Aanandam”.

Coming to performances, Charan has to be specially mentioned for his comedy timing and the strain taken for stunts and dances. Rakul is as usual a star hero’s heroine but she’s lucky enough to share the screen with Megastar. Rao Ramesh and Kriti Karbandha suited their characters well. Director Srinu Vaitla failed to use “Arun Vijay” as an antagonist while Sampath Raj started being a boring villain. Nadiya got a respectable role. Brahmanandam, Ali, Vennela Kishore, Posani and Prithvi were ineffective while Jaya Prakash Reddy entertained well.

Eminences :

  1. Ram Charan. As said above, he deserves a special mention for “trying” to act after doing eight films. His dance movement were awesome.
  2. Megastar Chiranjeevi. A dazzling cameo.
  3. Manoj Paramahamsa’s Cinematography. All the visuals were rich and enlightening.
  4. Anal Arasu’s Action Sequences. All the fights were composed well showing a stuntman’s capabilities.
  5. Thaman’s Music. Though the songs were average, background score gave a good support to the film.
  6. Production Values. Danayya didn’t hesitate in making the film appear rich.

Lowlands :

  1. Old Style of Narration. Though started in a good way, narration ended in regular Srinu Vaitla’s format.
  2. Less entertainment. For the first time, Srinu Vaitla came up with a situational comedy rather than a memorable comedy.

A Telugu version of this review can be found here.

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